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Republicans Are Declaring Victory After the Supreme Court’s Immunity Ruling

The decision will likely delay a final ruling on Donald Trump’s criminal charges over the 2020 election until after the 2024 one — and they know that’s only good news for the former president.

Election 2024 Trump
Matt Rourke/AP

Republicans, still on cloud nine over turmoil in the Democratic Party after Thursday’s debate, are taking the Supreme Court’s Monday ruling in former President Donald Trump’s immunity case as an unequivocal win.

“I have been harassed by the Democrat Party, Joe Biden, Obama and their thugs, fascists and communists for years,” Trump told Fox News Digital after the court ruled that he has immunity from criminal prosecution for broad official conduct. “And now the courts have spoken.”

The decision will limit the breadth of special prosecutor Jack Smith’s election interference case while almost certainly delaying a potential ruling until after the general election. In effect, the court rendered Trump’s criminal case over the 2020 election a legal nonissue until voters have long decided Trump’s political fate.

And conservatives are well aware of the significance. Following the ruling, the celebration continued as allies of the former president ran online to tout the victory in court.

“Today’s ruling by the Court is a victory for former President Trump and all future presidents, and another defeat for President Biden’s weaponized Department of Justice and Jack Smith,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement.

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said on X that the ruling was a “historic victory” and that it solidified that “the President of the United States must have immunity, like Members of Congress and federal judges, which is necessary for any presidency to function properly.”

Republicans, and Trump, have long been anticipating this ruling and touting it as one of the most important decisions the Supreme Court will make this election cycle. And, it will likely have the most impact, as it all but solidifies that Trump won’t go to trial before the election.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling rightfully puts an end to another sad chapter of Joe Biden’s weaponization of the Justice Department,” Sen. Steve Daines posted on X.

Rep. Lisa McClain texted NOTUS, “[Democrats] have been going after Trump hard! Perhaps they got a little ahead of their skis.”

But the case isn’t over. The majority wrote that they recognized a limited immunity for presidents — narrower than the broad immunity claims asserted by Trump’s lawyers. Other cases in Georgia, Florida and New York (where Trump appealed his felony conviction) are ongoing. It’s not clear how the opinion will impact those cases. Some of the evidence in Georgia, at least, appears to be based on unofficial acts by the then-president, meaning it might not be subject to immunity, according to election law expert David Becker.

“That’s clearly a charge that is still alive,” he said in a press call.

And conservative declarations of victory leave out an important caveat: The ruling cuts both ways. Already, Democratic activists have suggested this opens the door for Biden to do whatever he wants and then claim immunity.

“We haven’t committed any crime,” Democratic strategist David Brand told NOTUS. “In theory, could we do something now really screwed up and claim immunity? Absolutely, we could.”

Ben T.N. Mause is a NOTUS reporter and an Allbritton Journalism Institute fellow. Reese Gorman is a reporter at NOTUS.